Burial

Original Text: 
Kingsley Fairbridge, Veld Verse and Other Lines (London: David Nutt, 1909): 66-67. Cf. Veld Verse (London: Oxford University Press, 1928): 47.
Among the Manyika, a dead infant is buried by its Mother without a ceremony.
2I bury you here by the edge of the lands.
3Under the scrub and the weeds I bury you,
4Here in the clay where the bracken grows.
5Here on the hill the wind blows cold,
6And the creepers are wet with the driving mist.
7The grain-huts stand like ghosts in the mist,
8And the water drips from their sodden thatch.
9And the rain-drops drip in the forest yonder
10When the hill-wind shakes the heavy boughs.
11Alas! I am old, and you are the last --
12Mwanango, the last of me, here on the hillside.
14Is sodden with rain, and is trodden to mud.
15The hoe that I use to fashion your dwelling
16Is caked with the earth that is taking you from me.
18And where now are you, O mwanango kaduku?
19Alas! Alas! My little child!
20I bury you here by the edge of the lands.

Notes

1] Manyika: a language, whose speakers are in Zimbabwe and Mozambique.
The first line is translated at line 19. Back to Line
13] kraal: native African village, huts surrounded by a fence, with an area for livestock. Back to Line
17] Dzua: the sun.
rukweza: African grain crop (not in OED). Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
1909
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
RPO 2000.
Rhyme: 
Form: